For years, T-Mobile has been using its Uncarrier campaign to shake up the way wireless carriers handle data, streaming, and contracts, and now it has a new trick up its sleeve. In its Uncarrier Next announcement at CES on Thursday, the company unveiled a new strategy that looks to streamline billing and reward customers who sip rather than gulp data.
Decked out in his usual pink attire, T-Mobile CEO John Legere took plenty of shots at Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint as he boasted about adding 8 million customers in 2016, bringing the company’s ranks to more than 70 million subscribers. But he has big plans for 2017, predicting that T-Mobile will be the first carrier to provide Gigabit LTE all while unveiling four new rules for the mobile internet:
- Mobile internet should not be sold by bits and bytes
- What you see should be what you pay
- Only you should have the power to change what you pay
- You shouldn’t have to pay for what you don’t use
What they boil down to is transparency and simplicity. Beginning January 22, T-Mobile will only sell its new T-Mobile One plan, which offers unlimited data, talk, and text for $70 a month or $160 for a family of four. What’s changed it that those numbers now represent exactly what you’ll pay. T-Mobile will no longer be adding fees and taxes on top of the monthly costs. Rather, it will roll those surcharges into the monthly costs, eliminating fluctuating bills and massive overages.
T-Mobile will take the guesswork out of monthly bills by rolling fees and surcharges into a flat price.
Additionally, the company is launching a new Kickback program, which will give customers using less than 2GB of data each month a $10 credit on their bill. And anyone switching from another carrier will receive a $150 credit per line, with no trade-in required. Finally, T-Mobile is also running a Fee Face contest on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram where customers can win prizes for snapping selfies of their reactions to their current bill.
The raucous, expletive-laden event began with a SNL Weekend Update spoof featuring a live performance by Colin Jost and Michael Che. The two made a few sexually charged jokes and took a few pot shots at Fitbit and Samsung, before showing a video featuring Legere as a Lyft driver questioning passengers about their wireless companies.
The impact on you at home: While T-Mobile customers will enjoy benefits immediately, Legere’s Uncarrier moves tend to impact the rest of the industry. From two-year plans to early termination fees, T-Mobile’s moves have truly changed the way Verizon, AT&T and Sprint operate, and it might not be long before we’re paying flat fees everywhere.
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